The cruel Marquess of Catherwood is finally dead, and Reade has inherited both the title and the vast estate, but all is not well. His angry half-brothers are lashing out, putting both Reade and Jenny in danger.

Jenny has lots of plans—learn to ride her horse, drive on the ‘wrong side’, and best of all, plan a wedding, but Reade insists on first guaranteeing her safety. Jenny hates being told no, so he has his work cut out for him.

How can he rid his beloved Catherwood of his father’s decadent legacy, including his two half-brothers who shared their father’s depravity?

Is Reade’s discipline enough to keep Jenny safe?

This is book three in the Catherwood series but can be enjoyed independently.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, power exchange, and adult themes. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

Excerpt

 “This isn’t the first time you’ve been punished for not following the rules and simply going off on your own before things are safe. For some reason you seem resistant to learning, so the lesson will be stronger today.”

“No,” she said as she pulled backwards, but he jerked her back sharply. 

“The more you resist, the worse it will go for you,” he said, looking at her sternly as he pulled her jeans down. He looked at the lacy little peach-colored panty and had the fleeting thought that he didn’t remember seeing it before, but he pushed the distraction aside and pulled the filmy confection down to where the jeans were.

“The next time you’re tempted to behave as outrageously as you did today, I want you to remember how it ends.”

With those words he pulled her forward over his leg and then, when she tried to squirm away, held her down forcefully. 

“Stop wiggling!” he ordered as he gave her bottom a sharp slap. He moved her slightly and then said, “This is for driving the car without someone with you.”

He started spanking her then, bringing his hard hand down on her soft cheeks over and over, causing her to cry out.

“Ow-w! Don’t! Stop!”

He ignored her and spanked her briskly, watching her soft little cheeks take on color.

“It hurts!” she cried desperately, trying to kick her feet.

“Good.”

He spanked her for another minute or so but then stopped. He let her cry briefly before standing her up, but rather than sitting her on his leg the way he did after a spanking, he held her in front of him. 

“That was for taking the car,” he said, looking sternly into her teary eyes. He waited briefly for effect and then said, “This is for wandering off alone.” 

Jenny realized what he was doing and pulled against him again, but he easily returned her to his knee and held her in place.

“Don’t! Please don’t! I’m sorry!” she cried, but he ignored her pleas and instead started spanking her again.

Spank! Spank! Spank!

This time his hand was landing on already reddened skin, and he was sure her little bottom was burning terribly. He could feel the sting in his own hand, but he had a job to do, and it was too important not to do it right.

Finally he paused and waited, listening to her soft sobs before repeating what he’d done before: he lifted her up and stood her in front of him.

“That was for running off by yourself and putting yourself in danger,” he said, watching the tears course down her face as she put her hands behind her and tried in vain to rub the sting from her backside.

“Now we have the matter of your going into my desk and taking keys that weren’t yours to take,” he announced.

“No, don’t, please!” she cried desperately. “It’s enough! I’m sorry!”

“It will be enough when you start behaving yourself,” he replied as he once again put her down over his leg. He hoped the drama of three separate spankings would stay in her mind more so than a single spanking would. She was so damn resilient that he was still searching for a way to truly get her attention.

Once again he started bringing his hand down on her by now bright red cheeks, and she tried her best to squirm out of the way of his hard hand but to no avail.

“Stop!” she begged piteously. “I’m sorry. I’ll be good.”

Was he making progress? He’d often heard her apologize, but he couldn’t remember her ever before promising to be good. He spanked her a number of times more but then stopped.

“Do you think you can obey a few simple rules?” he asked with her still over his knee.

“Yes,” she said as she sniffled.

“Unless you want a repeat of today, you’d better mean it.”

“I do.”

He waited a minute but then pulled her up again, but this time he sat her carefully on his leg and finally allowed himself to be swayed by her tear-stained face. He took his handkerchief and gently wiped her eyes and cheeks.

“Wouldn’t it be better to follow the rules before you get spanked?” he asked as he held her. “It’s not much fun doing it your way.”

She sniffled but didn’t answer, so he simply held her and rocked her ever so slightly.

“There are very few things in life that scare me,” he continued, “but knowing you were in danger and that I was forty minutes away truly terrified me. You’re my life now, little one, but you make it so damn hard for me to protect you. Don’t you want to be safe?” 

“I guess.”

“How am I going to teach you to think before you act?”

She sniffled again, and he handed her the handkerchief he had in his hand and then wrapped her in his arms and just held her. She was the center of everything for him now, and even though his own harsh upbringing had taught him to not flinch from punishing her when necessary, he took no satisfaction in it, and he truly hoped the day would come when it wouldn’t be necessary.

“I love you,” he murmured into her hair.

He understood she wasn’t quite ready to say it back right now, but he didn’t care. She was his Jenny, and soon she would be his marchioness—probably the naughtiest marchioness ever. 

He just hoped he could somehow also make her the safest marchioness ever.